Opinion

Never stray far from Linux for desktop OS nirvana

Even though I like Windows 10 a lot, I don’t feel as secure as when I’m on one of the many flavors of Linux at my disposal.

Why is this?

You would think that at this point in time of their desktop OS dominance, Microsoft would have its security act together more. Too often, it still feels like I’m walking down a cold, dark alley after 10 p.m. each time I fire up a browser for some random surfing.

Apple forgot how to produce something interesting, unbloated, nimble and useful a long time ago with respect to its desktop operating system. Their executive team does not devote engineering resources to it and it shows in the ever-increasing amounts of memory it requires to take it for a ride without getting the spinning beach ball or whatever it’s referred to these days.

Microsoft doesn’t give you the spinning circle while browser pages draw. In fact, being able to run Windows 10 admirably on Core 2 Duo CPU‘s is a testimony to Redmond’s ability to produce an OS that does not require lots of resources to run efficiently. You need to max your Mac’s memory out and even then, it still will seem to only be churning when it should be burning, through the tasks at hand.

I don’t end up mired in the cloud, so all of the advancements by Apple and Microsoft in that realm are non-affecting for me.

At the end of the day, cloud storage and the ability to sync stored files among all my devices does not in the least have any appeal.

For the consumer, the cloud is a gimmick, folks.

If you opt to try to see if the cloud can satisfy your storage needs, you’ll soon be disappointed and out more of your hard-earned cash. The free versions don’t have enough space for all your photos, let alone movies, text and data files. In order to store all of your files in the Cloud you’ll need to open your wallet and pay for the additional storage you need.

As I’ve always advised, if consumers want the best, simplest and most cost-effective storage solutions for their data, they need to look at external hard drives for their desktop machines. You will have full control over all of your backups and data. This is unlike those who leave their valuable info on Apple’s and Microsoft’s cloud servers. I’m sure there’s somewhere in the fine print of all the cloud solution contracts that stipulate that they (at the least) reserve the right to withhold access to your data should you not be able to keep paying for the storage. Try storing your car and not paying the storage company to do so, and see what happens to your car. Or pay off your house and try to stop paying property taxes on it. See how long you’ll still be the home “owner.” The bank (and Apple and Microsoft) can and does take what you thought was yours and yours alone.

Regarding security and Microsoft, on the bright side, I am only running Windows Defender for my anti-virus and malware protection. My Windows 10 machines feel much faster without all the security, anti-malware, Trojans, rootkits and anti-bad juju software I used to run. And also on the bright side, by not having to run Malwarebytes on a regular basis, I can actually get more work done on my Windows 10 machines than any flavor of Windows that preceded it.

Linux and its security-emphasis leaves me less concern for my day to day browsing habits. Let’s face it, our modern phones are more powerful than most Core 2 Duo desktop computers, but there’s no comfort in looking at a phone screen for good stretches of time. Nor is their any fluidity when it comes to typing on your phone. Yes, I know I can add a keyboard and type the traditional way, but if I’m adding a keyboard and/or projecting on to a monitor, or doing any of these things with a tablet whose screen is bigger than a phone’s, what we’re doing is creating the desktop computer that all of us already has.

And finally, since many of you may be looking for Linux OS recommendations, I’d recommend trying something like Ubuntu Mate out on an old PC to see how you like it. It has the best of both worlds in that it is speedy on older machines and also comes with everything you’d need to enjoy it right out of the box. Plus, it’s easy to add software to it the more you use it. There are so many different Linux distributions, that it’s fun to try as many as you like–if you have time. If you want the most popular, that’d probably be Ubuntu. The problem with this Linux variant is the latest versions, like Apple’s (and Microsoft’s in some cases) OS, will not run as fast on older hardware. Your mileage may vary is an old saying with respect to automobiles, but it applies just the same to choosing a Linux OS for your desktop computer.

I can only suggest you have fun with it and bring an open mind to whatever you choose for your first Linux go ’round. Can you get bogged down with the Command Line? Of course, but only if you want to.

Today’s Linux is not your father’s Linux. Accordingly, it’s worth your time and effort to try it.

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